Jan 30, 2011

Books for Real Food Lovers

Written by Valerie.

Last November I did something unusual....I spent long hours perfecting my Christmas wish list (normally I don't even have a list).  What would cause me to do something so out of character?  Let me backtrack a little.

The past few years I have been transitioning from a "junk foodie" to a "real foodie"  and have sought to embrace more traditional ways of life.

Growing up every food came out of a can, wrapper or box.  If we were trying to be healthy we would buy food that had the label low fat or baked.  For the chemicals and cleaners we would buy ones that said antibacterial or the ones that claimed to be extra strong.  Yikes!!!!  Did I mention that I had chronic health problems as a child?  

As an adult I began to make radical changes in my life, the first of which was giving my life to God (talk to me sometime and I will tell you all about it....it is a great story).  I married a wonderful man and had a double blessing, twins. I also began to prayerfully research all my health problems and discovered a direct correlation between my eating, the chemicals in my home and my health.

Thus I began years of baby steps, changing my eating and my lifestyle.  So, fast forward some years to November and there I was painstakingly researching books for my Christmas list to help continue this healing process.  And I feel like I found some good ones.

Better Basics for the Home: Simple Solutions for Less Toxic LivingMy favorite so far:  Better Basics for the Home, by Annie Berthold-Bond.  Quoting from her book, "It is a book of simple ingredients for simple tasks.  I've tried to retrieve from near oblivion the know-how that was abandoned with the advent of the chemical age."

So, here is my confession:  I bought this book for my kids to give to me.   I didn't even let them wrap it and I started reading it 3 days before Christmas. I couldn't put it down.  It has everything:  how to make your own dish soap, dish detergent, laundry detergent and every type of cleaner imaginable. She goes in depth on skin care, which is a blessing for me, because I have been fretting over those chemicals in my store bought products.  There is a section on whole body care, a section on gardening, and a section on whole house care (even how to make your own paint).  Every recipe is simple and if I don't know what something is she has a glossary for every ingredient she uses.  To me this is a book filled with the great-grandmotherly sort of wisdom for just about every task you can think of.

Tender Grassfed Meat: Traditional Ways to Cook Healthy MeatFirst Runner Up:  Tender Grassfed Meat:  Traditional Ways to Cook Healthy Meat, by Stanley A. Fishman.   In Fishman's words, "Grassfed beef is tough only when cooked wrong.  This book is all about cooking it right.  Cook it right and it is tender and delicious."   Fishman is an attorney who, for health reasons, taught himself to cook grassfed meats through his own research and study.  He writes like a real person who has by trial and error learned and perfected his cooking.  The book is broken into two parts.  In the first part, he discusses the differences between grassfed and grassfinished animals, the ingredients in depth (the right kinds of fats and oils), the equipment (types of safe cookware) and techniques.  In part two he has a section on broths, which I thought were great.  Then he has recipes on beef (steak, roast, pan roast, pot roast, stew, stir-fry, ground beef).  He also has bison and lamb recipes, plus liver recipes (he mixes all his with sausage), some marinades and side dishes.  This book is a good find for me because it covers the essentials of cooking grassfed meat.  Fishman explains everything and his recipes are simple.  All the ingredients are basic, usually some herbs and an onion or garlic.  Straightforward, easy, nuts and bolts....just what I needed. 

So, what other books were a part of my Christmas jackpot? 
Nutrition and Physical Degeneration
Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture FoodsBones: Recipes, History, and LoreBones:  Recipes, History, & Lore by Jennifer McLagan 

Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz  

Now comes the next part, setting the pace and baby steps.

Warmest blessings.


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1 comment:

  1. Thanks! This is so timely for where I am headed with our journey! I found this on the library site so I have reserved it! Can't wait to dig in!



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